In a appalling case of caste-based atrocity, a Dalit man from Jannaram in Telangana’s Mancherial district was brutally attacked and forced to drink urine for allegedly being in a relationship with a woman from the Goud community, which is categorised as Backward Caste. The incident took place on May 17.
The 18-year-old victim belongs to the Mala community, categorised as Scheduled Caste in the state. According to the victim’s family members, the woman and man were in a relationship for the past one year.
On May 16, the woman allegedly called the victim and they both met at a temple in the outskirts of Ponkal village around 6.30 pm. The couple didn’t return home that night. The woman’s family members looked for her everywhere in the village but their frantic searches yielded no result. The next day, the victim called one of his friends, Abdul, shared his location and asked him to get some water and biscuits as they were thirsty and hungry.
Later in the day, Abdul was allegedly waylaid and attacked by the accused – Muthyam Sai, Garipetti Harish Goud, Patkut Prashanth and Azmath Khan. Harish is a distant relative of the woman. Along with Abdul, the victim’s other friends too were detained and forced to disclose the couple’s location. The four accused then reached the location and brutally assaulted the victim with belts and sticks, stripped him and made him lie down on a hot stone.
Not stopping there, Harish Goud abused the victim for “daring” to transgress the caste lines, and forcefully made him drink urine when he cried for water. “They even tried to drown him in a nearby stream,” alleged Venkatesh, a relative of the victim.
In his petition to the police, the victim wrote, “They tore my clothes apart, asked why I need their girl despite being a lower caste person and abused me with casteist slurs.”
The victim managed to escape from the attackers and reached the Jannaram police station, which was 1 km away. “At the police station too, he was assaulted,” Venkatesh recalled.
After police intervention, a case was registered on May 18, the following day. The accused were booked under the SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act along with 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 290 (Punishment for public nuisance) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
As soon as the accused were booked, the woman's parents registered a counter complaint against the victim and his three friends, levelling charges of kidnapping and rape attempt on their daughter. The police registered this case too.
“As per the petition of the woman's family, the victim was stalking her for the past few months and kidnapped her and attempted to rape her on May 16,” Jannaram Sub Inspector Vinod Kumar told TNM.
However, no arrests have been made so far. “The case is being investigated by the Assistant Commissioner of Police. The probe is still going on,” the SI added.